My “No Resolution” 2016

by | Jan 1, 2016 | reflections, writing

new years resolutionsSome of you love New Year’s Resolutions…I know you do. And if this day is a special day to you and makes you feel more encouraged to make a change in your life, more power to you and I truly do wish you the best. But it has always seemed to me that New Year’s Resolutions for most people last maybe a few weeks or a couple of months at the most. I really believe that someone who is ready for a change will make that change on any obscure date of the calendar year they finally reach that point where they face their old habit and decide they’ve had enough of living that way. I have had some such pivotal moments in the past year and so for the New Year, I resolve to CONTINUE these changes I have ALREADY made in my life:

exerciseTo CONTINUE to work toward a healthier me. This is a challenge that has been ongoing. There have been times in my life I was more serious than others, but it was more often about losing weight. I have changed my perspective, however. It is now about being a healthier, more well me. So, over the last couple of months, I have made some changes in my life, little by little. My doctor is a fan of making one change at a time (he feels it is easier to sustain changes if you make them one at a time instead of changing so many things in your life so drastically). I am doing good-for-me smoothies for breakfast (which has always been a “what do I eat if anything” problem meal for me anyway). I am striving to trade pasta and rice for quinoa and couscous. More lean meats and veggies. Introducing more physical activity. Small changes, one at a time. And I am seeing results like I couldn’t have imagined.

scheduleTo CONTINUE to schedule my time thoughtfully. As a wife and mom, there is a lot that goes into my life apart from the writing and the extra stuff I do. So, I have to guard my time carefully. And I have to be able to delegate the things that don’t belong in my schedule or simply say “no”. That’s hard for this extreme people pleaser. But necessary. Each week I look at my schedule for the week, looking over my commitments/appointments and then placing my “to do” lists on each day. Then in the morning, I go over that day and make adjustments to my “to do” list – shifting some to another day if need be.

Here is the key thing though: I celebrate that day if I accomplish only 3-4 things on that “to do” list. Anything else I get done is extra. That has taken a LOT of grace-giving and learning. But, especially on busy days, I need to not burden myself with unrealistic expectations. Because you and I know that, especially with a house, husband, and kids, there are always more things to do than are on that list. The others that don’t get done can slide to another day that may not be so busy (as you can imagine prioritizing those items is important).

typewriter-chapter-oneTo CONTINUE to make time for writing. “Write like a crazy woman November” (NaNoWriMo) led into “no writing December” for many reasons. Maybe I was burned out, maybe it was because December was so crazy for me. I definitely spent most of my free time reading. Ah, reading. It is a vital part of writing. It helps you learn from other writers, inspires you, helps you grow in ways that nothing else can. Stephen King says that “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” I think I concur. But, because I haven’t been writing, part of me feels a little….empty. My characters are all sitting around waiting for me to write their next line of dialogue. And they are desperate to know what’s going to happen to them.

All in all, these are the things I have been working on. Along with the “normal” desires to continue to be more involved with my kids and continue to daily “bless my home” (as FlyLady puts it) through routine care. So, while I am thrilled to welcome 2016 and look forward to a new year full of hope and promise, as far as a “resolution”, the only one I’m making is to continue what I’ve already started.

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Sara R. Turnquist